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Summary of occupation

Milliners mark out and cut patterns to create designs for hats. They then cut out the various components and assemble the hat. This may involve twisting, rolling, folding, reinforcing, sewing, steaming and pressing various components. Materials used include fabric, felt, fur, leather, straw, artificial flowers, ribbons, braids and feathers. They may also alter or renovate hats. They may also be involved in displaying hats or preparing them for sale.

ANZSCO description: Milliners design and make hats and other  headgear using a variety of materials.
Alternative names: Hat Maker
Specialisations: Hat Designer
Job prospects: Limited
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Knowledge, skills and attributes

A milliner needs:

  • good vision for detail work and good hand-eye coordination
  • to enjoy creative or artistic work
  • to enjoy practical work
  • a good eye for colour and design
  • patience and perseverance
  • an understanding of fashion trends
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Working conditions

A milliner would normally work 38 hours per week, Monday to Friday. They usually work in an air conditioned workshop. If they work in a large organisation they may only perform one part of the process and so the work can be very repetitive.

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Salary details

Milliners, classified under clothing trades workers, can expect to earn between $679 and $799 per week on average ($35 354 and $41 599 per year), depending on the organisation they work for and their level of experience. As a milliner develops their skills, their earning potential will generally increase.​ 

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Tools and technologies

Milliners need to be proficient with a number of hand tools for working the various components as well as traditional and specialist sewing machines.

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Education and training/entrance requirements

To become a milliner, you usually have to complete a Certificate III or Certificate IV in Millinery.

There are no courses in millinery available in Western Australia. However, you can complete this certificate at registered training organisations in the Eastern States.

Related courses

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Apprenticeships and traineeships

As an apprentice or trainee, you enter into a formal training contract with an employer. You spend most of your time working and learning practical skills on the job and you spend some time undertaking structured training with a registered training provider of your choice. They will assess your skills and when you are competent in all areas, you will be awarded a nationally recognised qualification.

If you are still at school you can access an apprenticeship through your school. You generally start your school based apprenticeship by attending school three days a week, spending one day at a registered training organisation and one day at work. Talk to your school's VET Co-ordinator to start your training now through VET in Schools. If you get a full-time apprenticeship you can apply to leave school before reaching the school leaving age.

If you are no longer at school you can apply for an apprenticeship or traineeship and get paid while you learn and work.

Related apprenticeships

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Recognition of prior learning

If you think you already have some of the skills or competencies, obtained either through non-formal or informal learning, you may be able to gain credit through recognition of prior learning.

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